On average, 1 in 8 Ohioans require assistance when it come to putting food on the table and feeding their whole family. The extra help many receive, comes in the form of the SNAP program or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
For years, efforts have been set in place to ensure users of the program are legitimate and that no person sales the SNAP benefits for money or drugs. To further these efforts, now some politicians are seeking to have these benefits managed on a new card with the recipient’s photo printed on it.
Supporters of the new photo requirements say adding pictures to the EBT card is to deter people from selling them for the wrong things. On the contrary, experts say the photos will have no real effect as well as being a waste of millions of taxpayer dollars. The Ohio Senate can possibly vote on the bill as early as Tuesday.
According to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services reports, in the year 2017, a total of 1,502,000 Ohioans received SNAP benefits. And county agency investigators identified 2,465 cases of SNAP fraud of nearly $4.5 million, which represents .2 percent of the money issued to Ohioans that year.
Opposers of the new change don’t believe fraud is rampant in Ohio, especially because recipient names are printed on the cards and a 4 digit pin is required to access benefits.
According to federal guidelines, if photos are added to cards, people in the household that do not match the photo cannot be denied use of the card. Which leaves many questions, such as, if the picture doesn’t have to match, and the name on the card doesn’t have to match, how is this going to stop someone from selling the card?
Republican Senator Tim Schaffer says, “It’s an added layer of security.” This extra “layer of security” will cost nearly $15 million to see through. It should also be noted that 17 states passed similar bills, 16 stopped using it, and the other suspended the project.
Schaffer believes that just because 17 states couldn’t get it right, doesn’t mean Ohio can’t either.